There were a lot of uneven performances for the Dallas Cowboys against the Detroit Lions when you look at the whole game. Some shined early, almost none shined late. But one player did have his best game as a Dallas Cowboy.
Of course, it was only his second game as a Cowboy.
There is not much suspense about the Game Ball this week. Laurent Robinson earned it with a seven catch, 116-yard performance against the Lions.
Laurent's award is a bit unique. It is not based solely on his on field performance Sunday. It is also based on what he has done for the team for the rest of the season.
The Cowboys have a few minor questions to answer over the bye week. OK, they are maybe a little bit bigger than that. But Laurent has taken one question and made himself into the answer.
We now have a clear cut third wide receiver.
From the moment the Cowboys cut Roy Williams (and to some even before that), one of the issues has been depth at the wide receiver position. Miles Austin and Dez Bryant were clearly the top two, but that third man, the guy who could fill in for one of the big two if needed, was not too clear. Kevin Ogletree came into the season filling the third slot on the depth chart, but in the first game of the season injury problems pushed him into the number two position, and he did not exactly seize the opportunity. This left Dallas searching for another solution.
Robinson had already been signed once by the team to provide some WR depth, and then was promptly cut to make room for fullback Tony Fiammetta. But with Dez out and Miles going down in the San Francisco game, he was re-signed and given a chance to play against the Redskins. It was obvious to most that Laurent was much more comfortable with his role than KO during that game, and it was no surprise when he came out and lined up opposite a still limited Dez against the Lions.
What was a surprise was how well he wound up catching the ball. Only a bad reaction to one pass marred his day. It was a pretty big mar, admittedly, since it led to the second pick six, but he certainly contributed just about as much as anyone else to the good things that happened on Sunday.
More importantly, he now gives the team a reliable third option/backup second wide receiver. Instead of putting in a player who is the least worst option, he gives the team a choice that is clearly the best one based on skill and performance. He also creates one possible alternative when the team needs to open up a roster spot for Bruce Carter. Laurent is strictly good news for the Cowboys, although a bit of a nightmare for the Tree.
Mostly, he has stepped up and made the most of an opportunity. For all the bottom of the roster guys, he is a great example.
And there were those 116 yards. So Laurent Robinson, enjoy your Game Ball of the week. You get to be the award holder twice as long as anyone else.